alvin.teo

Crossing Border

Posted in Diary, Travel, Youtube by Alvin on January 6, 2010

 7 December 2009

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Hostel staff bid me goodbye at 4am as I made my way out to the main street to hail a taxi. The streets were dead quiet. I arrived at Mo-Chit bus terminal just in time to grab a 5.30am ticket to Aranyaprathet, the Thai-Cambodia border town in Eastern Thailand. The bus made multiple stops at random bus station and once at the military checkpoint.

I hopped on a tuk-tuk after alighting from the bus, heading 6km to the border. The driver expectedly, made a stop at a travel agency, notorious for cheats and scams. So much of trying to avoid it, I paid an extra of 4USD for a 3 hours taxi ride from Poipet to Siem Reap. The moral of the story, take the risk of waiting for other backpackers to car pool instead of paying extra to ‘secure a seat’ as what they called it.

After all, crossing over to Cambodia from Thailand via land transfer wasn’t that complicated. Poipet is the border town after stepping into Cambodia from Aranyaprathet. There is a 200m stretch of dodgy hotels and casinos right after the custom, patronized mainly by the Thais. The rest of the town is tyrannized by touts, beggars and traders pulling carts of goods to be traded in Thailand. Wikitravel has probably the best description of Poipet: ‘Poipet more or less rhymes with toilet’.

I was then ushered onto a free shuttle bus to the transportation hub 10 minutes away from the border, and later onto a taxi with 2 Belgian backpackers, well not after a round of argument and complains. The road heading to Siem Reap was nicely paved, and that was probably the best Poipet can offer. I arrived in Siem Reap at half past 2, with a morning of fun and adventure.

Anyway, I found this travelogue which captured Poipet in moving screens.

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